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Electronics are small. Soldering fine-pitch ICs and 0402 passive components can be extremely difficult and dexterously demanding. Lab tools such as magnifying glasses and professional microscopes are fantastic, but can be cumbersome to use or large/expensive.
This DIY project was completed in an effort to build a home electronics lab. I wanted the solution to be both affordable and portable, while retaining a high level of performance with a spacious working distance.
This webcam microscope can capture 1080p resolution images at 30fps. It has a working distance of 15cm and a depth of field >10mm.
GRAND TOTAL: $100
The mod involves swapping out the camera lens (left) with a microscope lens (right).
Fully assembled microscope solution:
To view the video feed, Microsoft LifeCam and VirtualDub software was used. VirtualDub is nice because it provides you with manual control of camera settings such as focus and exposure.